Henning City Council discusses potential locations for Henning skate park

By Chad Koenen

Publisher

The City of Henning received has received $65,000 as part of a Blandin Boost Grant to construct a new skate park in town.

During its regularly scheduled meeting last week, the Henning City Council heard from Dan Broten who said the money will help to cover a large portion of the cost of the skate park, which was estimated at $110,000. The skate park could be put either at the Henning Festival Grounds, or possibly the Hollow by the existing basketball and tennis courts. The skate park would be 50×100 feet and the grant would cover the cost of purchasing the equipment. Additional ground work and concrete work would likely need to be covered by a city contribution, private donations or another grant.

“The money would cover all of the skate park equipment, which would give us a similar park to what they have in Wadena,” said Broten.

The goal of the skate park would be to give local youth a place to go skating, as opposed to doing so in the downtown area. Broten said skateboarders have damaged a number of benches in town and could present a liability issue if they are injured on private property. 

A group of volunteers who have been working on the new skate park had originally planned to have the skate park near the Henning Festival Grounds. However, more recently, discussion turned to potentially put the skate park in the Hollow near the basketball and tennis courts. The goal of putting the skate park in the Hollow would be to create a recreational area for local youth and families in the heart of town.

“(Locating the skate park in the Hollow) would make for a nice recreational area for the kids,” said Broten. “Our goal is to involve the local youth from the area that would use the park and allow them to have some input into the park that they will use.”

Prior to moving forward with the park itself, Henning Police Chief Mike Helle said he wanted the city to research the liability insurance, as well as speak to neighbors near the Hollow to ensure they know the park will be located in the area. He said the skateboards could create additional noise in the area. 

Broten said the city would have up to two years to complete the project if needed, and additional fundraising and potentially donated work to help cut down on the additional money needed for the park.

“I’m not a skateboarder and never will be, but I think it is a good thing for the youth in town. The kids just need something to do,” he said. “It would just be a good outlet for people.”

In other news

• Approved an off-sale liquor license, contingent that no issues are found after contacting the city attorney, for Rahn’s Oil and Propane. The company recently purchased both Pete’s Amoco and Denny’s Food ‘N Sport with the goal of tearing down the gas stations to construct a large convenience store, shop, car wash and potentially an off-sale liquor store. 

• Heard an update on the utility meters with the City of Henning. Utility Supervisor Ted Strand said the city had just 10-12 meters last month that caused the city issues when reading the utility meters, compared to close to 200 the first time around. He said the city continues to make corrections and repairs on the billing software and meters as needed. 

• Approved the appointment of Sara Booker as a new member of the Henning Fire Department.

• Heard the Henning Ambulance Service responded to 29 calls in October.

• Approved spending up to $9,000 to purchase the building located at 400 Douglas Ave. The city is purchasing the building with the goal of filling in an old coal chute that could cause issues when the 2024 Highway 108 project comes through town and eventually will sell the lot.